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Drop Dead Gorgeous [Paperback]

Wayne Simmons , Travis Adkins
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Nov 2008
As tattoo artist Star begins to ink her first client on a spring Sunday morning, something goes horribly wrong with the world... Belfast's hungover lapse into a deeper sleep than normal, their sudden deaths causing an unholy mess of crashing cars, smoldering televisions and falling aircraft. In the chaotic aftermath a group of post-apocalyptic survivors search for purpose in a devastated city. Ageing DJ Sean Magee and shifty-eyed Barry Rogan find drunken solace in a hotel bar. Ex-IRA operative Mairead Burns and RIR soldier Roy Beggs form an uneasy alliance to rebuild community life. Elsewhere, a mysterious Preacher Man lures shivering survivors out of the shadows with a promise of redemption. Choked by the smell of death, Ireland’s remaining few begin the journey toward a new life, fear and desperation giving rise to new tensions and dark old habits. But a new threat--as gorgeous as it is deadly--creeps slowly out of life’s wreckage. Fueled by feral hunger and a thirst for chaos, the corpses of the beautiful are rising…

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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Permuted Press (15 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934861057
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934861059
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,443,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Belfast born, Wayne Simmons, has loitered with intent around the genre circuit for some years. He penned reviews and interviews for several online zines before publication of his debut novel in 2008.

Wayne's work has since been published in the UK, Austria, Germany, Spain, Turkey and North America. His bestselling zombie novel, FLU, was serialised by Sirius XM's Book Radio.

As well as writing fiction, Wayne is a regular contributor to Skin Deep Tattoo Magazine. He hosts his own podcast HACK and co-hosts extreme metal show Doom N'Gloom. He's the co-producer of horror expo, SCARdiff.

Wayne now lives in Wales with his ghoulfiend and their Jack Russel terrier, Dita. Look out for him at various genre, music and tattoo events or visit him online: www.waynesimmons.org

Product Description


'Drop Dead Gorgeous is a stand out book.' --Horrorbound.com

'A heck of a good novel...' --Fatally-Yours.com

'A gritty drama... Do not miss!' --Liberation Frequency

'If you're into action-laced horror, vivid gore and a cranked up attitude, Drop Dead Gorgeous is your kind of read.' --Lip Service

'Worthy of George Romero's finest moments...'
--Total Tattoo Magazine --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I've been on a real indie book bender lately. There's something refreshing about small press novels that I really enjoy, be it the DIY spirit of the venture in general or the groundbreaking ideas that the books themselves contain. I think one of the things that grabs me the most about the small press world is the sheer amount of heart and dedication that go into the production, a feeling that's miles and miles away from the cold, corporate feel that sometimes radiates from Big Publishing.

Don't get me wrong, corporate entities have their place, I suppose, but small presses give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, even when they're printing things that shouldn't generate that kind of response.

Drop Dead Gorgeous, published by Permuted Press, is one such book. I loved it, every page and every minute spent with my nose buried in it, but damn is this one of the most heartbreaking books I've ever read. I don't think I've ever read anything quite so bleak before, despite having read literally hundreds of horror novels from my teen years to this day.

DDG is, essentially, the story of a zombie outbreak in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland, but what makes it so unique (and, in my opinion, chillingly effective) is that the focus throughout remains squarely on the characters. Two high school kids, a tattooist, a radio DJ, an aging Loyalist soldier, an IRA supporter, a retired college professor, a twenty-something slacker and several others have found themselves alone, the rest of the citizenry suddenly dead for reasons unknown. People have fallen in their homes, keeled over at the wheel of their cars and dropped dead on the streets, all for little to no reason.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Coming across something new or even refreshing is difficult within a genre such as horror. Many filmmakers and even novelists plump for tried and tested ideas and the major archetypes within the genre cover a multitude of storylines and subsequently, at least to my mind, very little material seems original; which is why I am so taken with Drop Dead Gorgeous by Wayne Simmons.

After a fairly pedestrian introduction and judging by the size of the paperback, I wasn't expecting great things from Drop Dead Gorgeous. I got quite a surprise once I got started...

Simmons creates a bleak post-apocalyptic Belfast that could well be any city in the UK and his set up for what appears to be the end of humanity reminded me of the BBC series Survivors, with the majority of mankind taken down by some unknown malady, leaving only a handful apparently immune to this unseen assault.

Similar to many post-apocalyptic novels, Simmons has his survivors start to band together in disparate groups with some distinct characters emerging. The setting of Belfast adds an interesting dynamic to the proceedings in the form of sectarianism, lending itself to the storyline the same way that racism did to George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead; and perpetuating pre-existing divisions between some of the characters.

As for the characters, initially, I thought I was going to have the usual horror memes thrust upon me: the nave teenager, ageing soldier, the family man, the fire and brimstone preacher, etc etc ad nauseum ad infinitum. This preconception couldn't have been more misplaced. Simmons develops his characters tremendously well; they come replete with all the fallacies of the human condition, dirty little habits and desires, rendering them painfully real.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Drop Dead Disappointment 3 Mar 2012
I had read Wayne Simmons' book, 'Flu', and this was a fast-paced and exiting, classic Zombie tale. Unfortunately 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' does not live up to expectations after reading 'Flu' at all. Most of the book bar 20 pages tell a good story of the characters but it is very drawn out with description of the state of the calm before the storm as it were. The last 20 pages or so seem to cram in a shoddy tale of the undead. It is quickly skipped over with no suspense and almost all of the characters whom you've heard so much about get killed off. It seems as if Wayne got bored of his own book and quickly ended it without a proper suspense/ horror tale to unfold. Do not be fooled by the cover - it's the only thing worth buying!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh take on an old formula 1 Sep 2011
By Jimmbob
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Drop Dead Gorgeous is a short, sharp, character driven horror novel. It has a great opening chapter that I won't spoil, rest assured it contains enough humour and shocks to keep you reading.

As with all novels where the characters are front and centre, if they are not believably written the whole story falls flat. Fortunately the cast are a well rounded, and diverse bunch. The players range from young to old, good to evil, political to fanatical, and are all seemingly unconnected.

Set mainly in Belfast after the whole end-of-the-world-thing, you are introduced to your survivors. Simmons writes with a punchy and occasionally brutal clarity, describing their day to day existence, puzzlement and behaviour. Some parts of the book are hilarious, granted the humour is dark, but in a novel about zombies and the general end of the world it's going to be.

Alice Cooper once said that watching Rob Zombie in concert was like seeing a tattoo parlour come to life, which describes the zombie uprising in DDG pretty well. It's colourful, vivid, loud and and of course gory. The twist on the zombie formula is welcome but not too different from classic reanimated novels for it to be jarring.

Apparently there is a sequel in the works which I look forward to reading, however those who don't enjoy TBC endings need not worry, you get a complete story and a satisfying ending.

I picked this up during a restock of my to read pile on Amazon and I'm glad I did. If you're into zombie novels and fancy a well written intelligent take on the subject with a bit of a twist I'd highly recommended it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I love apocalypses and end of the world type stuff... Like The Walking Dead or I Am Legend. So I enjoyed reading this book, along with the sequel Doll Parts.
Published 1 month ago by GB
3.0 out of 5 stars Post Apocalyptic.
I like Wayne Simmons books and if this one had ended after 240 pages this would have received 5 stars, an odd end (although it clearly sets up a second book) left me scratching my... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Wilson40
4.0 out of 5 stars A motley collection of individuals in the Greater Belfast Area, in a...
A motley collection of individuals are going about their lives in the Greater Belfast Area, Norn Iron, when suddenly 99.9% of the population drops dead! Read more
Published 10 months ago by MesaJarJar
2.0 out of 5 stars Read something else
It's expensive and does not warrant the price tag. Here's why - one thing I found extremely annoying is that it is never explained why most people die and what's stupid is how no... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Sketcha
1.0 out of 5 stars Same old same old
.This follows the same well worn path - something happens which kills most people off. The usual motley band of survivors with (as always) a mad preacher causing havoc, the gangs... Read more
Published 12 months ago by musiclover
4.0 out of 5 stars Gory and Gritty
From the moment I started listening to Drop Dead Gorgeous, I was hooked. Apart from the fact that the story moves along at a good pace, the narration was so good AND with an Irish... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Kat from The Aussie Zombie
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to be from Norn Iron to enjoy this book
I happen to have lived and grown up in Northern Ireland (Norn Iron) and so this added an extra layer of enjoyment for me as I followed characters whose environment, motivations and... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Murgatroyd
1.0 out of 5 stars Drop dead bored
What can I say? Though not a long book I had a very tough time in getting through it, the first 2/3rds with nothing really original after seeing tv series like Survivors or The... Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2012 by Tony
5.0 out of 5 stars Drop Dead Stunning
I'd reached a place in my reading of this genre where nothing but nothing could top Justin Cronin's "Passage". Read more
Published on 29 Dec 2011 by Steffie Caddick
4.0 out of 5 stars Drop Dead Slightly dissapointed
As an avid devourer of apocalyptic fiction I purchased DDG on the strength of the reviews on this page. Read more
Published on 25 Oct 2011 by Woody
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